In Israel, Canadian MPs, senators scramble for bomb shelters as rockets fly

An Iron Dome launcher fires an interceptor rocket in the southern Israeli city of Ashdod July 8, 2014

Credits: REUTERS/Baz Ratner


OTTAWA - Five Canadian MPs and two senators scrambled for safety in bomb shelters in Jerusalem Tuesday after Israeli Defence Forces sounded the alarm on fears that Hamas terrorists would send rockets into the capital.

BC Conservative Bob Zimmer, BC New Democrat Jasbir Sandhu, Manitoba Conservative Ted Falk and Newfoundland and Labrador Liberals Gerry Byrne and Yvonne Jones were in Israel as guests of the Centre for Israel and Jewish Affairs.

Senators Daniel Lang and Salma Ataullahjan were also on the trip, according to CIJA.

All now appear to be safe and sound.

"In Jerusalem, had a rocket warning and went to a shelter briefly for approximately 10 minutes," Zimmer tweeted at about midnight local time. "Now out and going to hotel. All is well."

The CIJA, an advocacy group for Jewish federations in Canada, routinely takes groups of MPs to Israel every summer. CIJA officials did not immediately respond to requests for information.

Some off the Canadian parliamentarians had spent the day at the Holocaust Museum and at the Knesset, Israel's Parliament.

But around 9 p.m. local time, air raid sirens sounded in Jerusalem driving residents and visitors of that city into bomb shelters. Air raid sirens had sounded earlier that day in Tel Aviv.

During the day, Hamas had fired over 130 rockets from positions in Gaza into Israel. As of 11 p.m. local time Tuesday there were no reports any had landed in Tel Aviv.

The IDF confirmed one rocket landed in Jerusalem and reports said it struck in Jerusalem's suburbs, damaging a home.

Jerusalem and Tel Aviv, Israel's largest cities, are about 60 km from the most northern border of the Gaza strip.

The Canadian parliamentary delegation arrived in Israel early Monday and is scheduled to stay there until early next week.

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